Horrible Histories. Image shows from L to R: Gemma Whelan, Ryan Sampson, Tom Stourton.

Horrible Histories

CBBC and BBC One sketch show based on historical fact. 105 episodes (8 series), 2009 - 2019. Stars Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby, Ben Willbond, Mathew Baynton and others.

Catch-up on Special on BBC iPlayer   Series 3, Episode 12 is repeated today at 7pm.

Horrible Histories. Image shows from L to R: Frances (Miles Jupp), William Shakespeare (Tom Stourton), Jessica Ransom. Copyright: Lion Television / Citrus Television.

2016 Specials - Sensational Shakespeare

A special episode delving in to the life and times of the world's most famous writer: William Shakespeare.

Further details

Tom Stourton stars as the Bard, as we find out about his humble beginnings, his glove-making father and his early life as an actor. How did he climb to become a royal favourite? And what was it like to be in the audience of one of his plays, where fruit was thrown at the stage, it was illegal for women to act, and there were no toilets?

The episode is a look at the life and times of the playwright William Shakespeare - from his largely unknown and humble beginnings in Stratford, through his times as a jobbing actor in London, to his success as the country's most respected and financially savvy writer. Along the way we meet his gang of London friends - the playwrights, poets and brawlers Marlowe, Jonson and Spenser. We also explore the social history of Britain and the world, and how, if you wanted to avoid the plague, it was important to eat your none-a-day portion of fruit and veg.

This episode has a special guest appearance from Miles Jupp.

Broadcast details

Tuesday 19th April 2016
35 minutes


    Cast & crew

    Regular cast
    Jalaal Hartley Various
    Jessica Ransom Various
    Natalie Walter Various
    Richard David-Caine Various
    Gemma Whelan Various
    Jon Culshaw Various (Voice)
    Louise Ford Ensemble Actor
    Dominique Moore Ensemble Actor
    John Eccleston Rattus Rattus
    Guest cast
    Tom Stourton William Shakespeare
    Richard Atwill Various
    Thom Tuck Various
    Mel Giedroyc Publisher
    Miles Jupp Frances
    Daniel Lawrence Taylor (as Daniel Taylor) Ensemble Actor
    Writing team
    George Sawyer Writer
    Steve Punt Writer
    Dave Cohen Writer
    Ben Ward Writer
    Gerard Foster Writer
    Dan Maier (as Daniel Maier) Writer (Additional Material)
    Ben Ward Script Editor
    George Sawyer Script Editor
    Toby Davies Writer
    Joe Tucker Writer
    Raphael Warner Writer
    Lucy Clarke (as Lucy Clark) Writer
    Daniel Peak (as Danny Peak) Writer
    Daniel Peak (as Danny Peak) Script Editor
    Production team
    Steve Connelly Director
    Tom Miller Series Producer
    Lisa Mitchell Producer
    Melissa Hardinge Executive Producer
    Richard Bradley Executive Producer
    Simon Welton Executive Producer
    Gareth Heal Editor
    Richie Webb Composer
    Alison Jeffery Production Designer


    Shakespeare at School

    See what happens when William Shakespeare visited a modern day school to talk about his writing.

    Featuring: Tom Stourton (William Shakespeare).

    Shakespeare Quote Alert

    William Shakespeare can't even walk down the street without people quoting his work.

    Featuring: Jessica Ransom, Natalie Walter, Tom Stourton (William Shakespeare), Thom Tuck, Miles Jupp (Frances).

    What to eat to avoid disease

    Want to keep disease away? Then eat none-a-day!

    Featuring: Daniel Taylor, Jessica Ransom.


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